This Is One Big Difference From Two Years Ago

When Rafa Benitez arrived on March 11th two years ago Newcastle had a lot of injuries and one was Paul Dummett, and with Massadio Haidara also injured we didn’t have a specialist left-back for a few games.

Rafa tried Vurnon Anita there until Paul was finally fit and then we started to pick up points and in those final six games two years ago under Rafa – we got 12 points.

We still went down but Rafa quickly got a handle on the injuries at Newcastle and for the last two seasons we have had much fewer injuries.

That’s just one of the areas of the club where Rafa is making a huge difference with his vast experience and skill.

Jacob Murphy – in action at Old Trafford 

Today we have only Jesus Gamez and Islam Slimani on the injured list.

Now with so many players to choose from, Rafa will have to leave some very good players out of the matchday squad of 18,

And yesterday young Jacob Murphy was not included in the squad and Rafa was asked about the omission:

“We had to decide about wingers, defenders, strikers,”

“The good thing is that we don’t have too many injuries, so someone had to stay out.”

“Murphy was doing well, and I told him that I was disappointed(he couldn’t be in the squad,”

“But you have to make these decisions.”

“We have Christian Atsu as a winger, so it’s just a decision, because of the number of players we can have in the squad.”

Newcastle have also brought in Kenedy on loan from Chelsea and it seems the 22-year-old will be starting most games during the run-in and the 22-year-old will be glad of the first team playing time.

In fact, we hope he’s so pleased that he will want to join us full-time this summer.

And Jacob Murphy has already shown this season what an excellent player he can become for Newcastle;  he just needs to stay a little patient at the moment – he’ll get another chance soon enough.

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Comments welcome.

41 comments so far

  • Luke

    Feb 25, 2018 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #1

    Jeremy Corbyn will be at the League Cup Final on Sunday to watch his beloved Arsenal.

    The Labour leader will take a break to watch his team take on Man City at Wembley Stadium, a party source said.

    It all falls into place Corbyn isn’t a communist spy- it’s far worse he’s an Arsenal fan. In fact a season ticket holder – aren’t Arsenal ST’s
    the most expensive in the Premiership ?
    Another champagne Socialist/ Communist/ Marxist.

  • GeordieTwo

    Feb 25, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #2

    So we have a crocked loan striker in Slimani I take it? Brilliant plan with us 2 points above the drop zone. What a pile of bollocks. I was so disappointed yesterday. The 3 points should have been in the bag. We needed a third goal but Perez missed a decent chance and Shelvey didn’t get the ball soon enough. Then we collapsed back for the last 12-15 minutes and the goals came. Really poor at the end. We’ve seen it numerous times this season. When if ever will Slimani be fit?

  • AncientC

    Feb 25, 2018 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #3

    “Socialist/ Communist/ Marxist.”

    So which one is it? you are aware those are differing ideologies. Hell, why not all three. How about ‘third-way’ centrist too.

    Not trying to offend you, but you are showing your ignorance. Just stick to the football like everybody on the blog has asked. Good man.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Feb 25, 2018 at 6:54 PM

    Comment #4

    Still talking politics I see

  • Mister Tuff

    Feb 25, 2018 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #5

    Bloggers should stop arguing and emrace love. As the famous Greek tragedian Euripedes once said :-

    “The greatest pleasure of life is love.”

    Here’s the proof.

  • toon kk

    Feb 25, 2018 at 7:04 PM

    Comment #6

    Not sure what our problem is, time after time we have a good first half then towards the end of the game we’re hanging on for life with our backs to the wall.

  • cornishman

    Feb 25, 2018 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #7

    Yesterday I believe we lost our control of the game due to our trying to “shut up shop”. We needed lost the pace up front when Gayle went off. I would have preferred to see Murphy on the bench at least with Perez having a poor second half they penned us in through the last 10 minutes and you could see it coming. We got a point but really should have been three with the two chances of Perez and Shelvey. Still an easy three points next week……

  • martoon

    Feb 25, 2018 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #8

    I thought the analysis on MOTD was a bit harsh on Shelvey. After Rafa’s substitutions he was asked to play further forward and it should have been Hayden or Diame who tracked the runner – Shelvey had to be available for an out ball.
    I understood the Hayden sub but the Manquillo one was a defensive step too far and as someone said earlier possibly confused the setup of the defence. Surely Joselu for Perez was needed so he could hold the ball up (which he is quite good at) and take pressure off the defence!

  • Jib

    Feb 25, 2018 at 7:34 PM

    Comment #9

    It’s the NE Football Writers’ Association annual
    awards dinner tonight at Ramside Hall.
    Men’s Players of the Year, Jamaal Lascelles and Matt Ritchie
    and of course a special award for Jermaine Defoe from the
    Sir Bobby Robson foundation

  • dig-n-dig22

    Feb 25, 2018 at 7:50 PM

    Comment #10

    Mr Tuff #5
    Speaking of love, Where is Jail , the blog is dead without him.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 25, 2018 at 8:19 PM

    Comment #11
  • BennyArfa

    Feb 25, 2018 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #13

    The problem from yesterday was the negative substitutions. The Shelvey miss would have buried the game admittedly, Atsu needed to release that pass quicker.

    It’s the subs that have irritated me though. We’re 2-0 up away from home and the negative subs have let Bournemouth back in to the game. I love Rafa but he needs to hold his hands up at times and stop talking about mistakes.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #14
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:12 PM

    Comment #15

    In 1493 Elias Jebediah Beefman formed the flat earth society in protest over Christopher Colombus’ ridiculous claims that the Earth was round. The humiliation on discovering the earth was in fact round sent the man mad, an illness which was to be passed down through generations. Over five hundred years later one of his descendants Beefman 13 argued viciously that Mike Ashley was the saviour of Newcastle United, one day he was shown a globe and had an amazing turnaround. Now he has turned his attention to the best thing that has happened to the club in a long long time, Rafa Benitez and is spending his every waking hour trying to persuade people that Rafa is bad.

  • Tsunki

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:15 PM

    Comment #16

    He has a cult following though jail. 🙂

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:19 PM

    Comment #17

    Perez has good vision and more than decent awareness of others around him, and he also shows a willingness to take on his man in the final third. Maybe its the relative lack of support and effort to make things happen that gives some the impression he gives the ball away too easily or misses a pass. Perez is a good, hard working, intelligent and creative young player in a playing in a demanding position for a primarily defensive side. He will continue to develop as the side does. One of our better players and a player Rafa certainly likes.

  • lesh

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #18


    If Shelvey had been playing for Liverpool for example, he would’ve been worn out after putting in a great performance.


    Take my advice and don’t rise to the bait. Let those dangling it have their fun.

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:33 PM

    Comment #19

    “Forrest fans loving Colback!!”

    and only 1 yellow card in 5 matches. maybe he will fetch a higher price now.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #20

    Ideally Slimani, Kenedy and Dubravak all do well and want to stay, leaving us in a realistic pursuit for quality additions at defensive mid, attacking mid and fullback. That would transform us with minimal disruption.

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #21

    Sevilla 2 Atletico Madrid 5

    awful defending by Sevilla. hat-trick by Griezmann who is excellent. Diego Costa flung himself to the floor holding his face when he wasn’t touched and get a yellow – shocking.

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #22

    yeah AncientC don’t rise to the bait. Good man.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:48 PM

    Comment #23

    If you put that mid season slump down to inexperience, which I tend to, and look at the rest of our campaign in isolation, you’ll see we’ve been taking around 1.5 points per game, extrapolated forward taking us to 42 points for the season, made even more likely with the three additions, two of which so far have certainly improved us, and of course Rafa at the helm for the run in. That of course is key. Rafa keeping his head when others are losing theirs.

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:57 PM

    Comment #24

    Nicky i agree about Perez. it was noticeable that Perez didn’t feature much in the mid-season slump defeats. even though he hasn’t scored much he plays an important role.

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2018 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #25

    “He has a cult following though jail.”

    are you envious

  • Tsunki

    Feb 25, 2018 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #26

    Are you banal? It’s ok no need to answer.

  • martoon

    Feb 25, 2018 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #27

    Leash @18 Lol 😀

  • jane

    Feb 25, 2018 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #28

    yes (i had to look up what it meant though)

  • Nufc-83

    Feb 25, 2018 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #29

    Perez is technically one of our better players but saying he had good vision and awareness of others is completely laughable. He runs with his head down and rarely sees the right pass.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Feb 25, 2018 at 11:41 PM

    Comment #30

    Shire where’s hibbit and toontaff these days see jail doing his best as normal you ok bro

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Feb 25, 2018 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #31

    Simply not true. He’s no David Silvia or Kevin De Bruyne, but then again we are no Man City. He is only one of a very few players who can find space and pick a pass in tight, congested areas, among other attributes.

  • cyprus

    Feb 26, 2018 at 5:30 AM

    Comment #32

    I’m going to disagree re Murphy. Remember this is our 6th most expensive player, in the history of this club!

    Initially we were shocked at how he couldn’t have an immediate impact, subsequently subbed. He’s had a few good moments but much more is expected from him.

    He can’t nail a permanent place on the team… Up your game Murphy mate, we need you now.

  • cyprus

    Feb 26, 2018 at 5:43 AM

    Comment #33

    Mitro doing alright.

  • DubaiMicky

    Feb 26, 2018 at 6:27 AM

    Comment #34

    The TWAT is back.

  • nut meg

    Feb 26, 2018 at 7:28 AM

    Comment #35

    Off topic but worth a mention.. congratulations to local boxer Lewis Ritson for defending his British championship belt with a 1st round tko win over Joe Murray last night.

  • sing in the corner

    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #36

    Watching the cup final yesterday..
    Where does football in this country go from here?
    When a team with the means Arsenal has have to turn up and face the Arab juggernaut that is Man City and chase shadows before the inevitable certain humiliation, where does that leave clubs like ours?
    In a different dimension, that’s where.
    Man City will replace the likes of Aguero, when they wane, with other best players in the world, season on season, blowing 90 percent of other clubs outa the water. Something has to be done about football finances now, or it is all over.
    People won’t turn up every other week to watch the type of showing we did against City at home this season, for example. And will they even bother watching it from the sofa? I wouldn’t.

  • beefman13

    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:28 AM

    Comment #37

    Jail, I was a bit harsh on Benitez over the weekend, i was bitterlty dissapointed at the result even though folk keep saying a point away from home is good, we are in a precarious situation and i don’t believe we should be, we actually stuck it to Bournmouth as good as any team has for those first 70 mins at their ground then our change in tactics and we became rabbits in the headlights yet again and it cost us yet again, got to learn me old son or we are in the championship.

  • Jib

    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #38

    11/1 on a Newcastle win at Anfield seems
    very generous.

  • beefman13

    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #39

    Ellis Short billionaire were are the Nackems, MA knows even if he put 100m in to the club we would still be outside the too 7 or 8, and of course that is not any kind of forward thinking but it is realistic, he brought in Benitez so was that a good move? we do not know what was promised do we, Jail are we as a club in a state?, better personal is needed but half the premiership need that,remember, Mike brought in your beloved Rafa, on false promises, well who knows.

  • beefman13

    Feb 26, 2018 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #40

    Jail, it’s the other way “ROUND” The ball theory was created by Capernicus around that time not my flat Earth theory, that said I do believe in flat Earth the electro magnetic shield preventing anything leaving the earth orbit, the Sun the Moon create their own light and are not solid entities, the Sun’s heat only formulates when it connects through electro magnetism on solid matter; you have opened a can of worms there son.this is not the forum for it, but i would gunfight you any day on the subject.


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